About Wally Moran

Once a newspaper publisher in Canada, Wally tired of that life. He bought a Dufour 34 sailboat, named her Gypsy Wind, and headed south to celebrate his 50th birthday in the Florida Keys, joined by his best friend from high school and an assortment of sailing friends from the internet, most of whom had never met previously. Since that time, he has been sailing in the Caribbean, Bahamas, Cuba, the Gulf of Mexico, and 17 trips on the ICW, plus several more through three of the five Great Lakes.

Eventually, the lure of writing (and a desire to continue cruising) prompted Wally to return to his roots, writing for a living. He now writes regularly for SAIL Magazine and Waterway Guides as a Cruising Editor. He has also branched out into giving seminars on sailing – his two most popular are Sailing South – First Timer’s Guide to the ICW, and Forbidding, Forbidden Cuba, the story of his first trip to Cuba’s north shore. To see trailers of Wally’s videos, go to www.thesailingchannel.tv/icw or www.thesailingchannel.tv/cuba
With his return to writing, he was fortunate enough to be sent to Tahiti by SAIL Magazine to cover a regatta there, where Moorings gave him a 42 foot sailboat to play with during his time there. Within a few days he was anchored in Bora Bora, wondering if he should ever return – and would Moorings notice the boat missing if he didn’t? That story can be found at www.sailmag.com/pacific_pearl

Wally now sails with Aduana, a Cuban puppy who adopted him on the docks in Varadero as a two month old, eight pound, quivering ball of fluff. That meeting led to having to smuggle Aduana out of Cuba, into the US, and ultimately back to Canada. While the entire story cannot be told until the statute of limitations expires, astute readers will reach certain conclusions when given the fact that Aduana means ‘customs’ in English.
Wally is currently working on a book based on his First Timer’s Guide seminar and looks forward to a time when he can safely publish Aduana’s story as a children’s book.



15 Responses to About Wally Moran

  1. Mike Harris says:

    We hope to see you at St Simons Island around the 6th of Jan .
    The ICW is quite shallow at low tide in certain spots ; keep an eye on the depth finder .
    There is a quaint ( euphamism ) a day’s cruise south of Georgia / SC line called Kilkenny Crteek Marina .
    There are many protected anchoridges behind Ossabaw , St Catherines and Sapelo Island .
    Fair Winds , and Merry Christmas .
    Hope to see you in January .
    Mike Harris

  2. So great to meet you and Aduana more recently…Berkeley has asked what his name means in Spanish…he’s thrown me yet again. 😉 Enjoy your sailing and here’s hoping for moving with currents in the right direction…Best to you. Tre ~

  3. John Cooper says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed enjoyed your article “Entranced in Tahiti”.
    I have been shooting sail boats as a hobby since the age of digital photography began and have been fascinated by the wind and water most of my life.
    I have been a Sail magazine subscriber for a couple years; ever since I rescued a Hobie 16 and decided to take up sailing. The fiberglass work & paint is done and I hope to finally get her re-rigged and in the water early next summer. Just one small problem- I really don’t know how to sail. My children attended a sailing camp when they were younger, but evidently they have a cut off age and 43 was slightly beyond their limit.
    This small cat is just a jumping off point, I would like to learn to sail the great lakes and off-shore. My wife and I have been talking about down-sizing the house and up-sizing the boat as we retire and migrate further south.
    Can you recommend a great place to learn to sail on Lake Erie? In your opinion, is it best to make friends with people wearing lanyards on their sunglasses or to pay for an ASA school? Are sailor’s typically happy to share their knowledge and welcome new crew or are they more like duck hunters, preferring to keep rookies out of the blind so they don’t ruin the hunt?
    Looking forward to your next submission to Sail. -John Cooper Akron, Ohio

  4. Ken Aalders says:

    I run a speakers series for Ottawa’s Sailing Community supported by the Nepean Sailing Club that is open to the public. I am currently planning our 2013 schedule – our 6th season. I would like to make contact with you to discuss having you as one of our presenters.

  5. Lorraine Heighington says:

    I dont know if I got the right Wally, but if you use to hang out at Casey on Bayfield in Barrie and were friends with Heather and Mike and etc. then it would be fun to communicate. I am married and have not interest in any thing else other then to communicate, would love to hear how you are doing and hope you have a good thing going now. Take care Lorraine

  6. Wally Moran says:

    Well – I should check back here more frequently. To answer the various questions – Lorraine, I remember you well, and I’m happy to hear you’re still married – I’d hate to fall in love with you all over again just to have my heart rebroken, lol! You can reach me via my blog, it’s http://bloggingtheICW.blogspot.com – be great to catch up on old times and for me to tell your hubby what a lucky guy he is.
    Hi Ken- again, you can reach me via the blog, but I’ll try to contact you through your club – I’m at the Toronto Boat Show today before heading back south.
    @ John Cooper – John, if you contact me via the blog, I’ll try to advise you, it’s too complex to get into here…
    Thanks for all the wonderful comments folks….

    Wally (and Aduana, the WonderPuppy®)

  7. Ken Price says:

    Hi Wallay,
    Missed you in the North Channel last year. Let me know how to get in touch with you re delivery.


  8. Hi Wally:

    Thanks for sending along the updates. Glad to hear about your delivery and sad to hear about your close encounter with the criminal kind.

    I wanted to know if you would be interested in talking about tips for sailors who are about to travel down the ICW, some for the first time. If it’s easiest for you, I can do a phone interview — I would need about 20 minutes or so — to talk about cruising and the ICW.

    To illustrate the story, I would need you to send along 7-8 photos (you choose). We are putting together the Aug/Sept. ’13 issue, and would need to get things together in the next few weeks. Interested? Have time?

    If so, send along some photos and let me know when to call you. Happy sailing. Greg McDowell, Ontario Sailor Magazine.

  9. Hi Wally,

    If you would like to use my book “FOOTLOOSE ON THE ATLANTIC WATERWAY” for your Fall Annapolis talk on the ICW, you can review it on AMAZON E-Books. Author, “Captain Vincent P Trovato”, or go to http://www.footloosecharters.net. It is also available as a printed publication and CD. 45 years experience and I have made 69 trips. Take a look and let me know. I can provide the printed and CD version for $10.00 retail, $ 6.00 to you. I live in Easton, not far from St. Michaels and Oxford. Thanks,

    Captain Vincent Trovato, U.S.C.G. Ocean Master.

  10. Paul Draper says:


    Did you ever write about Wardell Boat Yard in Tonawanda NY? Old man Wardell would not sell you any diesel because you did not lift your mast with him. You were almost empty back in 2010 and you were not too happy about him and told me that you would write about him. After leaving Tonawanda you did run aground a few times and we helped to pull you off just off of Buffalo. Having little diesel you were sucking the the dregs of your tank and was constantly cleaning your filter. Hope this message finds you well traversing the ICW this year.

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  12. Frank Schubauer says:

    Wally, I want to do the intercostal waterway flotilla next fall. Home port Hampton Va. Good starting point, right. I am very interested in anything Cuban as I have already begun to search for info on flotillas for next winter. I am a novice sailor and prefer for now to sail with others to gain experience. I have day sailed a 27 O’Day for 10 yrs and now have a Beneteau 331. Please have someone contact me about the 2015 ICW Flotilla.

  13. Frank Schubauer says:

    Hi Wally,

    I don’t know if it is proper to share info with others on your blog but I have info for John Cooper. My first sail lessons were on small j-boats in Erie Pa. Contact Erie Yacht Club to see if they still have them. My commute was a little over an hour and yours should be close to that,

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  15. Pingback: Episode 5: Cuba Bound with Wally Moran – SLOW BOAT SAILING

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